In pre-industrial times, people were loyal to the best quality brands. Quality things that were built to last were probably a little harder to find, so when people found something that worked as advertised and lasted as long as you needed it, it becomes their brand for life.> SummaryYou can buy anything you want online at the lowest possible priceBusiness practices matter more than everCustomer service is the secret sauce of your businessNew brand loyalty is customer loyalty
Then, around the second world war, the quality improved at all levels. The creativity of assembly lines and marketing departments has played a major role in this development. That's when we started seeing things like jingles, contests, and soap operas. Everything the brands could do to preserve their market share and retain their customers, they did.
But then, something changed. People started getting what they wanted at their fingertips. Since everything was basically of decent quality, people paid far less attention to brands and far more attention to how those brands conducted their business. These days, brand loyalty is evolving into customer loyalty.
The incentive to buy the same thing every week at the grocery store is gone. Well, you don't even have to go to the store anymore. Most Americans can have whatever they want delivered to their doorstep.
This opened up many markets for newcomers. One can easily put his product in front of tons of customers, thanks to the Internet.
Customers want to do business with a company that treats its employees well, cares about the environment, and has excellent customer service practices. Many customers say they retract their loyalty much faster these days.
With 29 loyalty program memberships per household in the United States, it's clear that many are also loyalty program burnout. More than half have changed brands in the past year and 23% say they have a negative reaction to signing up for a different loyalty program.
Customer service and good business practices are much more important than loyalty programs these days.
Millennials are the largest and most diverse generation in American history and they are changing things. They say they are still loyal to the brand and they report using many of the same products as their parents. However, they are more likely to switch brands for reasons of poor customer service and bad business practices. Also, their parents are more likely to follow them out the door.
Here are the numbers:
78% of Millennials say brands will have to work harder to earn and retain loyalty
64% of Millennials say they are more brand loyal than their parents
63% of Millennials say they use the same brands as their parents
59% of millennials are loyal to mobile phone providers
56% of millennials are loyal to clothing brands
39% of millennials are loyal to health and beauty products
32% of Millennials will switch brands if the company is found to have poor business practices
37% of Millennials will try a new brand when it comes out
38% of Millennials will switch brands due to a personal recommendation
Having good business practices and empowering customer service representatives to keep customers happy and stay on the cutting edge of product development will be the best ways to retain your customers.
See also:6 things that can help you better understand millennials
Customers hold all the cards in this new era of brand loyalty. Due to their purchasing power and access, customers can easily take their business elsewhere. This means businesses have no choice but to give customers what they want.
See also:10 Proven Ways to Create Your Personal Brand
The best companies are those that listen to what customers want instead of telling them what they're going to get. These companies interact with customers online when customers want to interact, instead of constantly posting unwanted and uninteresting posts on social media. The best brands are constantly improving their products instead of constantly releasing the same thing. This is great for consumers who basically choose which companies to do business with based on their own criteria.
Learn more about new brand loyalty from this infographic.